Need help finding a new chat solution for a far-flung group.
Our core group of friends is spread across the US and Canada. Part of what keeps us so close is the private chat room we've had for the last 10 years or so. Sadly, the current owner of this is shutting it down, and we need to find a new place to hang out. I've been tasked with finding the solution. To head off the inevitable question, no we can't take over the existing site, for multiple reasons that I don't want to go into. Currently we're using phpMyChat 0.14.5, hosted on a back alley page of the owner's primary site. Are newer versions of phpMyChat going to have similar features? And how do I get one? Needs/requirements inside...
posted by spinturtle to computers & internet (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Things we need as a group:
- Static site. This needs to be a permanent room, that any member can go to at any time via a specific url, not a 'create a room and invite your friends to chat now!' one-time shot. Since we're all over the place, and all have busy lives, the ability to pop in whenever is very, very high. This leads to...
- History. Current setup lets us 'read back' up to 30 hours of content, so that we can communicate back and forth, even if we're not all in at the same time. 'oh, Suzy said she's going to run a marathon today. Way to go, Suzy, we'll be thinking of you!'
- multiple colors (preferably that 'stick'). It's much easier to follow a conversation if each person is in a different color.
- PRIVACY. This needs to be a private, invite-only setup, with usernames and passwords.
- Online utility, not an app. Members should be able to access via url, without installing any software or apps. Needs to work for PC and Mac, on most standard web browsers.
- Pictures - the ability to share an occasional picture would be nice, but not critical.
Things I need as the new owner:
- Invite power. Need the ability to set up users initially by assigning them a username and temporary password, which they would be able to change at their first login. On the current system, the owner assigned both the username and password, and you couldn't change your password. These seems weird to me.
- EASY. Ability to easily send an invite to a new member. Current setup, supposedly it's very difficult to create a new user, so there were rarely new additions. (I don't know if this was actually true, or just a weird quirk of current owner as a control tactic. whatever).
- Point and click admin. Need the admin side of this (sending invites, setting up members/resetting passwords, whatever), to be super easy. I am not a technical creature. I need a turnkey operation - I'd like for whoever sets this up to hand me the url and basic instructions, and I'd be able to start sending invites right away.
- Hosting? Again, I'm not technical, so I don't know if this is what I need, or the right terminology. Currently I own a domain that redirects to my wordpress blog, but that's about it. I have no problem (and would actually prefer, probably) with getting a fresh new url for this venture.
- Cost. While I'm not independently wealthy, I do have a few dollars to throw at this problem. Would like to pay one point of contact a reasonable rate for the new url, setting up the chat, telling me how it works, and then I'm assuming a monthly hosting fee?
- Speed. Would like to have this all set up by Friday (6/1) latest.